I’ve come to the conclusion that January is always “Lisa Knits a New Hat Month”:
I think, most likely, if I were satisfied with any one of these hats, the others probably would not exist. It’s just, every January I get the urge to have a snappy new hat. And every January, I look for the perfect pattern, buy the perfect yarn, and spend a few days knitting the perfect replacement for last year’s hat. Only, for some reason, I am rarely pleased with my results, and I either revert to the previous year’s pattern or wear it unhappily.
This year, I’d hoped to break the curse with Tin Can Knits’ Tofino Surfer pattern. I think slouchy is the way to go for me, and I love cables, so… match made in heaven, no?
Well, maybe not heaven. But I do like it. Mostly.
I knit too tightly. This is abundantly clear to me by the stiffness of the fabric on this hat. The pattern calls for two strands of a DK wool/acrylic/nylon blend yarn held together, or bulky yarn. I opted for bulky 100% wool, and as much as I love this yarn, I am thinking it may not be the right stuff for this particular project.
I had trouble with gauge. Using the suggested needle size, my gauge was too big, so I went down a size. At that point my stitch gauge was fine, but I discovered later that my row gauge was crazy. The slouchy variation of this hat should repeat the 10-row cable pattern essentially six times. I got to four and already had several inches. I decided I’d better quit. The fabric of this hat wasn’t slouching at all – it was sticking straight out. A few more cable repeats would leave me with a hat that looked more like a wind sock than a slouchy hat. Um, no thanks. Not really a fan of the windsock look.
So, as long as I nudge the back of the hat in the right direction when I put it on, it has enough of a slouchy look to it to make me happy.
And I do like that I can wear it three different ways:
- down on my forehead, bangs not showing
- a little further back on my forehead, bangs out
- brim folded up, worn far back on my head like a beanie
That’s versatile enough to keep me happy for this season. I can’t guarantee, though, that I won’t try again next January. My quest for hat perfection continues!
By the way, I found the cables slightly annoying on this hat at first, but the more I did them the more they grew on me. Not only that, but they helped me to understand the mechanics of cables a little bit better. This is way cool, because that puts me one step closer to designing my own nifty cabled designs.
Yarn: Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky in #10 Gold
Pattern: Tofino Surfer by Tin Can Knits
Size made: 24″
Needle: #9 dpn
Modifications: Left off last two cable pattern repeats on slouchy variation
Slouchiness achieved! Thanks to Emily of Tin Can Knits for pointing out on Twitter that a good blocking might do the trick. It has, and now the hat is just the shape I wanted it. (It’s a little loose on my head now [I managed to also stretch out the part that's supposed to be tight], but I think I can live with that.)